What We’re Reading: June 2017

Each month the NSW Writers’ Centre staff share what we’ve been reading. This month we've been inspired by authors who appeared at the Sydney Writers' Festival, with Ivan Coyote's Tomboy Survival Guide and Julie Koh's Portable Curiosities. We've read Australian works including Heather Rose's Museum of Modern Love, Kate Cole-Adams' Anaesthesia, and Cory Taylor's Dying: a memoir. We've read some ...

Leah Kaminsky on writing the body

Leah Kaminsky is a physician and award-winning writer. Her debut novel, The Waiting Room, won the prestigious Voss Literary Prize. She is poetry and fiction editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. Her book We're all Going to Die has been described as 'a joyful book about death'. Visit leahkaminsky.com. Which came first: the writer or the physician? In grade 2 we ...

Spotlight On: Shelly Unwin

Shelly Unwin, an up-and-coming children’s book author, is our feature writer for this month’s Spotlight On. Shelly grew up in England surrounded by animals and a feisty palomino pony. She was the middle child of three and had eleven foster siblings (though not all at the same time!). At university, she studied teaching and biology, and she moved to Australia ...

Book Review: The Wrong Hand by Jane Jago

If the sign of a good book is that it lingers with you long after you read the final page, then Jane Jago’s The Wrong Hand is a great book indeed. The story centers around a sickening crime committed by two boys against an infant and the grief, loss, and trauma that follows. The narrative switches between the year leading ...

Anwen Crawford on making a career of criticism

Anwen Crawford is the music critic for the Monthly magazine and the author of Live Through This. Her critical writing on music, film, television and books has appeared in publications including the New Yorker. She is the recipient of the 2016 NSW Writer's Fellowship. What are the aspects of the ideal review? I'm not sure that any review can ever be perfect, ...

Book Review: My First Lesson ed. Alice Pung

This is an anthology of special stories which give an authentic account of what it’s like to be a teenager. What makes this collection especially unique is that the stories in it are written by teenagers themselves. Award-winning author Alice Pung has selected 25 stories written by high school students inspired by her bestselling YA novel, Laurinda. This story collection is a ...

Writing On Our Calendar: June 2017

With Sydney Writers' Festival having just wrapped for another year, the literary world is showing no signs of slowing down. This month is jam-packed with book launches, author talks, and workshops covering a broad range of genres--meaning there's bound to be one for everyone to get excited about. June 1: Daniel Findlay Book Launch In order to prepare for our Speculative Fiction ...

PD Martin on researching and lock-picking

Phillipa (PD) Martin is the author of five crime fiction novels published in 13 countries. Her Sophie Anderson series - Body Count, The Murderers' Club, Fan Mail, The Killing Hands and Kiss of Death - met with international acclaim. In 2011 she moved into ebooks, releasing Coming Home, Hell's Fury and two novels for younger readers. What is it about crime ...

Spotlight On: Alec O’Halloran

This month’s Spotlight On feature author is Alec O’Halloran, a Sydney-based writer and researcher. Last year, Alec was awarded the Varuna House Publisher Introduction Program Fellowship. He was also a national finalist for the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship in 2015. He recently completed his first book-length manuscript, a biography of Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, who passed away in 1998. Our intern, ...

Review: Creative Non-Fiction Festival 2017

Back in March NSW Writers' Centre was delighted to have 14-year-old high school student Grace Othman attend the Creative Non-Fiction Festival. We asked Grace to write about her experience of the day. The Creative Non-Fiction festival was the place to be on the 25th of March. It was a wonderful day for all readers, writers and anybody who finds an interest ...

Book Review: Sweeties by Leon Silver

One “ordinary Monday morning”, an image invades 67-year-old Abel Marvin’s thoughts as he swims his regular laps: the “twisted, burned-out hulk of a wheelchair with two welded, gaping red and black skeletons”. It’s a scene that’s haunted Abel for most of his adult life and he buries his face in the water to drown it. But Abel’s breathing becomes forced ...

Lisa Shanahan on the difficult art of restraint

Lisa Shanahan is an internationally published writer of picture books and fiction for young people. Some of her well-loved picture books include Gordon's Got a Snookie, and My Mum Tarzan. Her books Bear and Chook and Daddy's Having a Horse were both shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood, which their sequel, Bear and Chook by ...

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